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What is Western Hemisphere Parole? Understanding DHS’s New Class of Admission Status

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | Jun 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

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It seems that every few weeks the Biden Administration is announcing a new form of parole or temporary immigration status for certain nationalities. 

The latest announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) explains a new class of admission referred to as WHP, which stands for Western Hemisphere Parole. This is a temporary parole status that gives certain individuals immigration status for up to three years. It is part of the Biden Administration's plan to ‘humanely manage migration flows.'

Who Gets WHP Status?

Western Hemisphere Parole (WHP) is not for everyone. Last year the Biden Administration announced that it would continue to “strengthen and expand” additional lawful pathways at the border, specifically for those seeking to enter from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti. At the time the Administration stated that it would accept up to 30,000 individuals per month from those specific nations. It is expected that the majority of people who will receive the WHP class of admission at the border will be from one of the above-listed countries.

Can I Work on WHP Status?

Parolees with the WHP class of admission are not authorized for employment. In order to be able to work, parolees with a WHP class of admission must have an EAD (employment authorization document). WHP parolees may apply for an EAD under the C11 EAD category. Parolees may use the SAVE verification system to check their employment authorization eligibility before applying. 

Can I Get Benefits on WHP Status?

Cuban and Haitian nationals who are paroled into the U.S. under WHP status may be eligible for certain public benefits, based solely on their nationality, as they are classified as “CHEs,” Cuban-Haitian Entrants. At this time it does not appear that other WHP parolees are eligible for public benefits, although some WHP parolees may simultaneously have another immigration status that makes them eligible for public benefits.

Can I Get a Green Card on WHP Status?

Western Hemisphere Parole status is by definition a temporary class of admission that does not lead to permanent residency. You may be eligible to adjust your status (meaning apply for a green card) based on a family relationship or other situation, but the status of WHP on its own is not enough to apply for a green card. 

If you would like assistance with an immigration petition, you can reach us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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